Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Ocean Power as a Sustainable Alternative Energy

David Lyons, B. Comm., MBA
Founding Partner & President
Capital Partners Worldwide
Indian Wells, California
Tel # 310-497-9346
TOPIC"Ocean Power as a Sustainable Alternative Energy".

TOPIC"Ocean Power as a Sustainable Alternative Energy"

There are numerous types of energy possibilities that can be derived from the ocean. Wave and tidal energy, ocean current energy, offshore wind, salient gradient energy, and ocean thermal gradient energy are examples. Most of the current research and development in Canada concentrates on the wave and tidal current power generation
Wave energy research was pursued intensively during the 1970's and early 80's in North America.  Interest in it was then revived in the mid 90's as one of the options to reduce fossil fuel dependency and address global warming. During these last 30 years a large number of devices such as the nodding duck,  submerged pressure chambers, and many others have been tried with varying degrees of success. However, wave technology is now slowly maturing, and the day of commercial viability is approaching.
There are two basic types of wave technology: fixed onshore and floating offshore. Up to very recently most of the research and development has been focused on fixed devices onshore or in shallow waters. Now, however, there is increasing interest in the much greater offshore resource with a variety of floating devices being developed.
Here in Canada , BC Hydro's Green Energy Study for BC, Phase 1, estimated the future price of wave energy to be in the 4-9 cents/kWhr range.According to the World Energy Council, costs are currently in the 12-16 CAN cents/kWhr range, but again with Ocean Energy ,within 3-5 years they can be expected to come down to the 5-7 cents range.When we look at these costs and compare them to conventional technologies, it should be kept in mind that electricity from fossil fuels will only get more expensive in the future as supplies dwindles, and also that fossil fuel energy does not include the cost of externalities such as pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
The energy of the future is here. One wave at a time
Mr. Lyons is a Founding Partner & President of Capital Partners Worldwide, an international capital solutions and financial advisory company and he is coming to live from california to discuss the advantages of Ocean energy and how we the consumer can save substantial amount in our energy bills.

My name is Samuel Ezerzer, your host to the Money & Business show on Radio Shalom, CJRS 1650 AM. Thank you for tuning in live with our Business studios headquarters in Montreal, the financial capital and the home to the greatest hockey team, the Montreal Canadians. We have another great show for you today and as always, you can call if you have any questions, comments, or criticisms on today's topic. Please call us direct at 514 738 4100 ext 200 or email me at if you have any inquiries. You can also visit our website at 

TOPIC"Ocean Power as a Sustainable Alternative Energy".

Mr. Lyons has successfully secured financing for renewable energy projects in 86 countries. With an emphasis on a long-term equity investment perspective to finance the complete concept-to-consumer cycle, he has achieved sustainable and break through share holder value for next-generation energy sources. 
He has secured the infrastructure funding required to support game-changing technologies for clean alternative energy solutions.  By establishing public-private partnerships under clean development and energy-climate change public funding initiatives, Mr. Lyons has mobilized additional private financing to support projects related to tidal power, offshore wind parks and tradable green certificates.         
Mr. Lyons has successfully setup and sold six technology-intensive companies, co-founded the energy venture capital company, Scotia Capital Corporation, served as Chairman of the Atlantic Provinces Chamber of Commerce, and on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, and Founder & 1st Chairman of the Enterprise Forum.
He has completed 500+ consulting and due diligence assignments for clients ranging from stock exchange listed corporations to small-to-medium sized companies throughout the energy supply chain. His government & industry association contracts include numerous reports on the impact of free trade agreements in Europe and the Americas on the ocean energy industry.

What is Wave Energy ?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of alternative tidal power as an energy source?

Is Tidal energy is currently more expensive to generate than conventional energy or that from many other renewable sources.

Can ocean energy sources compete with offshore oil & gas?
Has there been commercial success with ocean energy?
According to the World Energy Council, costs are currently in the 12-16 CAN cents/kWhr range, but within 3-5 years they can be expected to come down to the 5-7 cents cents/kWhr range when using wave Energy or Ocean energy technology?

What are the Effects on marine life during construction phases?
What expertise needs to be in place for for Ocean Power or energy to  prosper in Canada?
The history of the development of wave energy technology clearly shows that government support is necessary. When such support abruptly stoppes, technological advances also stoppes, or at least slowes down dramatically, my question to you david how important and necessary is the government support ?.
Is the Power that is often generated from the Ocean , is it generated when there is little demand for electricity?

What is Wave Energy?
As wind blows over the surface of the ocean, water is moved nearer to the surface and creates a wave. The energy that is available through waves depends primarily on a two factors, the length of the wave, and its height.
To capture the energy found in these waves and convert it to power there are numerous devices being developed. These devices typically fall into one of five categories:
1. Buoys
2. Surface Following
3. Oscillating Water Column
4. Terminators
5. Overtopping
What is Tidal Energy?
Tides are created by the gravitational forces of the sun and the moon. Tidal currents are the strongest where the water passes through narrow channels. In New Brunswick we are fortunate that The Bay of Fundy has the highest tides in the world. It is estimated that Canada's tidal energy potential could meet two thirds of our current demand. Source: Ocean Renewable Energy Group.
There are three main types of technologies used to capture the tidal power and convert it to energy:
1. Vertical Axis Turbines
2. Horizontal Axis Turbines
3. Reciprocating Hydrofoils (operate much like a fish tail)
Possible Ocean Energy Sites:

What are the advantages and disadvantages of alternative tidal power as an energy source?

  • Tidal energy is an alternative energy.
  • The energy produced is clean and non polluting.
  • There is no carbon dioxide or any other by-products released. It produces no greenhouse gases or other waste.
  • It is a renewable energy that will help reduce our reliance on the burning of fossil fuels.
  • There are two tides every day and they can be relied on. The energy is there for the taking.
  • So the electricity supply is constant and efficient.
  • Once you've built it, the energy is free because it comes from the ocean's power
  • It needs no fuel.
  • It produces electricity reliably.
  • Not expensive to maintain.
  • Tides are definitely predictable. There are two tides every day and they can be relied on. So the electricity supply is constant.
  • Offshore turbines and vertical-axis turbines are not ruinously expensive to build and do not have a large environmental impact.
  • A plant is expected to be in production for 75 to 100 years
  • Uses an abundant, inexpensive fuel source (water) to generate power
  • May protect coastline against damage from high storm tides and provide a ready-made road bridge

  • Holding back the tide allows silt to build up on the river bed.
  • The dams and barrages sometimes interfere with shipping.
  • You will need to find a way to connect the electricity to the grid.
  • Pose same threats as large dams, altering the flow of saltwater in and out of estuaries, which changes the hydrology and salinity and possibly negatively affects the marine mammals that use the estuaries as their habitat
  • Turbidity decreases as a result of smaller volume of water being exchanged between the basin and the sea.
  • The average salinity inside the basin decreases, also affecting the ecosystem
  • A barrage across an estuary is very expensive to build, and affects a very wide area - the environment is changed for many miles upstream and downstream. Many birds rely on the tide uncovering the mud flats so that they can feed.
  • There are few suitable sites for tidal barrages.
  • Only provides power for around 10 hours each day, when the tide is actually moving in or out.
  • It only provides about 7% of the power needed for England and Wales that means that some people get their energy close to free and some pay a lot of money
  • Water is not replenished, it cannot flow away so any dirt or pollution lingers around the coast much longer
  • Needs a very big piece of sea to be cost effective
  • Cannot be used inland
  • Barrage systems require salt resistant parts and lots of maintenance
  • Affects the lives of the people who rely on fishing for a means of living
  • Limited because the tide never speeds up or slows down, and occurs on 6 hour cycles. It is also dependent on the fetch distance. The fetch is the distance the tide rises and falls, so some beaches have a very small fetch, and others have a big fetch but hardly any have a large enough fetch to support tidal energy
  • Tidal energy is currently more expensive to generate than conventional energy or that from many other renewable sources.
  • Effects on marine life during construction phases.
  • Operation and control must be provided remotely and maintenance is complicated due to sea-basing of the generation facilities.
  • Sea-based moorings and towers to hold the generators must be placed on the sea bottom.
  • The generating facilities and mooring infrastructure are potential navigational hazards.
  • Is only available in a small number of regions - it requires a basin or gulf that has a mean tidal amplitude of 7 meters or more. Also need semi-diurnal tides where there are two high and low tides everyday.
  • Even with the best barrage designs, fish mortality rate per pass through the barrage is about 15%. Solutions to this problem have either failed or are too impractical and too expensive.
  • Dams used in the production of tidal power can raise tide levels.
  • Damages like reduced flushing, winter icing and erosion can change the vegetation of the area and disrupt the balance.
  • Expensive to construct
  • Power is often generated when there is little demand for electricity
  • Barrages may block outlets to open water. Although locks can be installed, this is often a slow and expensive process.
  • Barrages affect fish migration and other wildlife- many fish like salmon swim up to the barrages and are killed by the spinning turbines. Fish ladders may be used to allow passage for the fish, but these are never 100% effective. Barrages may also destroy the habitat of the wildlife living near it
  • Barrages may affect the tidal level - the change in tidal level may affect navigation, recreation, cause flooding of the shoreline and affect local marine life
  • Causes a continual loss of mechanical energy in the Earth-Moon system (Due to pumping of water through the natural restrictions around coastlines and viscous dissipation at the seabed and in turbulence.
  • May take additional energy from the system, increasing the rate of slowing. Estimates are 24 hours every 2000 years and a corresponding change in planetary orbit and climate.


Similar to project for offshore wind farm off the coasts of Rhode Island and Massachusetts


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